The history of the Ancient World, we mainly evaluate the deeds of great people. Who among us in history lessons did not admire the talents of Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great? They created great empires, which occupied the greater part of the civilized world. The figure of the second is also enigmatic.
How could the Macedonian king create a great power? Unfortunately, it was on his personality that she kept, disintegrating immediately after Alexander’s death. The king lived only 33 years, having earned the glory of the greatest commander in history.
Alexander raced through ancient history as a meteor, leaving a bright trace, but quickly burned. The life of the emperor, so remarkable, but short-lived, left many questions. Often the answers to them are generated by myths and legends. We will try to debunk them, in order to better know about the great conqueror.
Alexander was a Greek.
Based on the fact that the mother tongue of the Macedonian king was Greek, the researchers believe that he was still a Greek. The Greeks themselves do not want to recognize the existence of some independent Macedonia. The Macedonians, who are the former Yugoslav republic, do not want to admit that they had something in common with the Greeks. In fact, both are wrong. In the times of Alexander, the Macedonians were close to the Greeks as well as the Corsicans to the French in the time of Napoleon. But the dynasty of the Argeads always claimed about their Greek origin, considering Hercules to be their ancestor. There was also the Macedonian language, which was in essence a Greek dialect. But they taught the growing Alexander and the literary Greek. The right to live in the Macedonian language is evidenced by the fact that even half a century before the birth of the king for the court in this language Euripides wrote “Bakhkhanok”.
Alexander the Great’s father hated him.
There was a very complicated relationship between father and son. Both were bright personalities. At the wedding of Philip and Cleopatra, the groom even rushed with his sword to his son, who started a scandal. But historians believe that on the whole Philip took care of his heir. Even returning from his next campaign with his new wife, the tsar stressed to his son that the competition was only intended to strengthen his character and teach him to value power. For the education of Alexander, the great Aristotle himself was hired. As a school for the prince was built a whole village with a temple. With Alexander, other noble children also studied, who eventually became his commanders. Parents even tried to arrange and sex life of the heir, putting in his bed the courtesan Kalliksenu. And at the age of 16 Philip began to leave Alexander reign in his place. The young man managed to suppress several uprisings and even to war with his father.
Alexander seized power by killing his father.
By 337, Philip practically united Greece. But at that moment a problem arose in his family. After the king’s marriage to the young Cleopatra, her family approached the authorities. Alexander’s mother went with him to Epirus. However, the young heir soon returned to his father. Preparing for the campaign in Asia, Philip decided to hold wedding celebrations. But at the entrance to the theater the Macedonian Pausanias struck Philip with a dagger, having personal motives for revenge. Immediately the bodyguards of the king rushed to him, and the killer did not manage to escape, stumbling over the grape root. Alexander’s friends quickly killed Pausanias, not letting anyone know the truth, who was behind the plot. There is no direct evidence of participation in this direct heir, but the murder was very beneficial to him.
Alexander was entirely under the influence of his mother.
The historians unanimously call the Olympics an intriguer, who with all her might strove for power. In those days, the social status of women was low, which could not reconcile the proud and strong woman. Thanks to her husband, she got the desired effect. Alexander, her son and Philip’s heir, became the only weapon for the Olympics in the fight against other clans. The heir had an ambivalent attitude towards his father.On the one hand, he saw his military successes, and on the other hand he was disliked by maternal gossip. The king was married five times, each time seeking a new political union. With the death of her husband Olympiad returned to the court, getting rid of the widow of Philip and the child. So the queen achieved what she wanted. But at the age of 21 Alexander went on a campaign against Persia, since then he has not seen his mother. But its influence the new king has limited, not allowing to arrive to itself and to divide triumph. After Alexander’s death, the Olympics continued to fight for influence, already with the help of his grandson.
Alexander created a great army.
In fact, historians question the fact that Alexander, on the basis of a small kingdom, created a great empire. He just got lucky to be born at the right time and in the right place. It is believed that the invincible army with which Alexander defeated the Persians was created not by himself, but also by his father, Philip. It was he who brought to the troops those tactical devices, which his son later successfully used. Philip managed to create a powerful cavalry, whose absence prevented the Greeks from successfully fighting the Persians. Alexander’s father established her interaction with the infantry, which was deprived of the same Persians. Heavy infantry was reorganized and trained. Alexander received a professional army of 40 thousand people, which greatly outnumbered the combined strength of the Greeks. Some generals still Philip helped his son, making a significant contribution to his victory.
Alexander was opposed by the greatest Persian army in history.
Two generations before Alexander, the Persians were already weakened. In their internecine wars, they generally used the services of Greek mercenaries. And the famous army of the Persians actually collapsed after three great battles. First the Macedonians won the battle at Granica, and then Alexander twice defeated the Persian king at Issus and at Gaugamela. After this, the great Persian country ceased to exist. It turned out that the king of this country was also a coward and fled from the battlefield before his departure.
Alexander corresponded with the ancient Russian princes from Slovensk.
This myth is even included in the history textbook for high school. In fact, in those days there was neither the ancient city of Slovensk, nor any Russian princes. Alexander really fought to the north of the Danube, wishing to secure his northern borders before the Asian campaign.
Alexander united humanity and laid the foundation for a new civilization.
With the campaigns of the king, a new historical era, called Hellenistic, began. Greek civilization, until then limited to the Mediterranean and Black Sea, rapidly penetrated into Asia, up to India. But how great is the merit in this Alexander himself? After all, he died soon, and the empire he created quickly disintegrated. For a long time they said that Alexander dreamed of the unity of mankind. This myth was invented by Plutarch. Allegedly the king regarded Zeus as the father of all people who are thus brothers. And in the empire of Alexander it was planned to divide the supreme power between all nations. Only here is nothing to prove these ideas. Shortly before his death, Alexander forced the Greeks to recognize him as the son of Zeus. But this was done to exalt the king. To the state administration, Macedonians, Greeks, and Persians were left here and there. With the conquered tribes, the tsar was straightened so cruelly that one can not speak of brotherhood. But in general, it is worth noting that Alexander changed the traditional principles of governance, borrowing something successful from the Persians.
Alexander was prone to pride, as his sculpture says.
On all the ancient sculptural images of the great commander, his chin is slightly raised, and his head is turned to the right. For a long time it was believed that this is a direct evidence of pride and even pride, which was inherent in the king. But modern scientists have doubted this interpretation. In their opinion, the sculptors simply reliably copied the real image of Alexander.And this position of his head was not accidental. It turns out that Alexander had a rare eye disease, known today as Brown’s syndrome. In other words, only with such a position of the head and eyes the commander could see normally.
Alexander was a generous and generous ruler.
As proof of this myth lead a story, when the king preserved the life of his opponent’s family, Persian Darius. But there is much evidence that Alexander was cruel, even when there was no special need for it. He sold all the inhabitants of the rebellious Thebes to slavery, killed his friend and savior of Black Clith’s life at the feast, cut out the tribe of Kassites, grieving for a friend Hephaestion. For the sake of overcoming the great Gedros desert, returning from India, the tsar did not spare the lives of his own soldiers. Plutarch, however, describing the scientific curiosity of Alexander, told how he studied the properties of oil. Together with his friends, the king ordered a black boy to pour a servant boy and set it on fire. With difficulty managed to save the unhappy.
Alexander cut the Gordian knot.
This beautiful legend appeared back in ancient times. The cart was tied to the altar of the Phrygian Temple of Zeus with a knot. The oracles predicted that one who can unravel this divine tangle will become the conqueror of the world. But no one could do this to Alexander the Great. He just took it, and cut the knot. But some ancient authors refute this version. Aristobulus, a participant in the campaigns of the Macedonians, wrote that Alexander was able to untie the knot, using his intellect. There is a version that the tsar had to partially disassemble the cart to solve a difficult task.
Alexander of Macedonia was gay.
Even in antiquity he said that the king prefers women to his friends. It was believed that Alexander’s lover was his best friend Hephaestion, as well as his favorite Baga. The king himself compared himself with a friend with the characters of the “Iliad” Achilles and Patroclus, who were generally considered homosexual. But in those days in Greece, and in Macedonia, to know through the fingers looked at the sexual relations of men. It caused anxiety only if the young man stopped paying attention to women, which prevented the continuation of the family. It is known for sure that Alexander had many mistresses and three lawful wives – the Bactrian princess Roxane, the daughters of the Persian kings Statita and Parisathida. The first gave birth to his son and heir to Alexander, he and his son Hercules from concubine Barsina.
Alexander was very religious.
Before starting to defeat the Persians, the king really actively made gifts to the gods. But soon he began to treat them with disdain. This is indicated, at least, by the violation of the ban on visiting the Delphic oracle. Lamenting the death of his beloved friend Hephaestion, Alexander generally equated him to younger deities, created a cult and laid a couple of temples in his honor. In Egypt, the king declared that he was the son of Ammon-Ra, thereby confirming his divine essence. The desire to deify yourself in Greece itself did not always find understanding, and the renunciation of the usual gods shook the confidence of soldiers and generals. Alexander in fact denied his father, to whom many were indebted.
Alexander’s empire held only on military force.
Such a huge power existed not so much thanks to Alexander’s army, but rather to his thoughtful domestic policy. The king abandoned the usual principles and dogmas, each time re-analyzing the emerging circumstances in search of an optimal solution. It is no accident that many of the principles governing the Persian Empire were borrowed. Alexander refused to think of making Asia the province of his Macedonian kingdom. He brought the local nobility to the court, gave her a place in the army and in power.
Alexander did not wear a beard.
In those days, the Greeks, and even the Macedonians preferred to grow a beard. But Alexander himself abandoned this tradition, which sharply separated him from the crowd. There is a simple explanation for this: the general refused to give birth to the lush vegetation on his face.He simply could not grow a beautiful beard. As a result, the vain ruler introduced the fashion to a clean-shaven face.
Alexander of Macedon was slender and tall.
We want the ancient hero to have an athletic, well-built body. But even according to Macedonian standards, the king was not tall – only 150 centimeters. But it was stocky and sinewy.
Alexander died his death.
The causes of the death of the great king are called different. The naturalness of the reasons is questioned – Alexander was only 33 years old, he was in the prime of his life. Defeated Persians believe that the commander punished the sky for the opening of the grave of Cyrus. Babylonians believe that Alexander’s forces were undermined in the famous gardens of Semiramis when planning new campaigns. The Macedonians, who returned home, said that Alexandra had been killed by drunkenness and debauchery. And the Romans believed that the king was simply poisoned, because of the slowly acting Asian poison. It is no coincidence that on the way from India Alexander lost consciousness for a day, lost his strength and his voice. According to another version, the tsar was so tired of hiking that, together with the drunkenness, and even against malaria, the stomach ulcer became aggravated. Symptoms corresponded to what happened to the king. In any case, in 323 BC. Alexander died in Babylon.
Alexander did not have any heirs.
It is generally accepted that the tsar did not leave heirs behind him. In fact, he had two sons, they were simply too small to somehow influence their destiny and even more to rule the empire. Alexander was the legitimate heir, the son of Roxanne. He was born a month after his father’s death. The baby was immediately proclaimed king and co-ruler of his uncle. But the real influence of the heirs certainly did not have. Philip Arridei was also mentally retarded. On behalf of this couple ruled regents, while the military leaders of Alexander gradually gained strength. Alexander himself was ranked as one party, then another. In 317 BC. his uncle was killed. Gaining strength Cassander got rid of all the patrons of the boy, enclosing him in the fortress as a matter of fact under arrest. But other diadochs remembered the heir, wanting to draw him to his side. Then the adult Alexander IV, together with his mother, was killed by the order of Cassander in 309 BC. Hercules, the son of Barsina, became the subject of political games when searching for a new heir in 309. The young man was formally placed at the head of the Polisperkhon army, which attacked Macedonia. Cassander, who ruled there at that time, promised to join Polisperhon as an alliance in exchange for the life of another heir. And in 309, Hercules and her mother were strangled. Thus broke 400-year-old royal Macedonian dynasty.